Hi. I’m Nathan Wahlgren, and I am the Keydet Piper. I am a graduate of Virginia Military Institute (Keydet), and I play Highland Bagpipes (Piper). I live in Corvallis, Oregon, USA, where I work as a nuclear engineer. I am a geek; it says so on my business card. I like listening to music, making (bad) jokes, reading books, solving logic and crossword puzzles, spending quality time with friends, and long walks on the beach.
And bagpipes. I like bagpipes.
I started piping when I started college in August 1998, and since that time the bagpipes have gone from pastime to hobby to passion to obsession. The music is haunting and inspiring, the people are fascinating and friendly, and doggone it the bagpipes are just fun to play.
I have been an active solo competitor, but for the past few years I’ve been taking it easy on the boards. When I do play solo competitions I play in grade 1, and I currently play with Portland Metro Pipe Band (grade 2) in Portland, Oregon.
I’ve played with a number of bands in my piping history:
- VMI Pipes & Drums, Lexington, VA, 1998 – 2002 (street, one competition in grade 5)
- Baltimore City Pipe Band, Baltimore, MD, summer 2000 (street)
- Macdonald Pipe Band, Pittsburgh, PA, 2003 – 2005 (grade 4)
- Graham Highlanders, St. Johnsbury, VT, 2007-2008 (grade 4)
- MacMillan Pipe Band, Rockville, MD, 2010-2012 (grade 3)
- MacMillan-Birtles Pipe Band, Rockville, MD, 2011 (grade 4, as playing instructor)
- Portland Metro Pipe Band, Portland, OR, 2012-present (grade 2)
My pipes are Hendersons and are approximately 60 years old. I am their second owner. Here’s the story of how they came to be in my possesion.
I’ve also embarked upon a piping quest. You can track my progress here.
KeydetPiper.com started back in 2004, when I began learning how to make web pages to market my piping services online. It’s had a few different looks over the next few years, but the content stayed pretty much the same. In January 2008 the Keydet Piper blog came into existence, and I wrote about a lot of things, some related to piping and some not. Although there were links between the two pages they were separate entities, until one day in February 2009 when they merged and created the SUPER DUPER MEGA KEYDET PIPER WEBSITE AND BLOG that you are reading now.
Enjoy reading the site, feel free to comment, and most of all, enjoy your piping.